HC Deb 12 March 1941 vol 369 cc1260-1
14. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Undersecretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the office of the West African Youth League in Freetown, Sierra Leone, was raided last autumn by Government authorities; whether he will state the ground for the raid; and whether the documents seized have now been returned to the owners?

Mr. George Hall

The only occasion on which the office of the West African Youth League was searched by the police during 1940 was on 12th June. This was on a warrant issued under Regulation 101 (2) of the Sierra Leone Defence Regulations, No. 11 of 1940, which provides for the entry and search of premises where there is reasonable ground to suspect that a war offence has been or is being committed. The Acting Governor reports that the search was properly authorised and executed, and that nothing was removed from the premises by any officer or member of the police force in the course of the search.

Mr. Sorensen

Was it found, as a result of the search, that the suspicions were justified?

Mr. Hall

I think my hon. Friend may assume that it was so, in so far as no documents were found.

Mr. Sorensen

Do I understand that the suspicions were not justified?

Mr. Hall

I think my hon. Friend can take it that that is so.

Mr. Wedgwood

What were the suspicions? Were they thought to be Communists or Fascists?

Mr. Hall

I could not say without notice.

Mr. de Rothschild

What was the result of the investigation?

Mr. Hall

I think it can be assumed that the police were satisfied that their suspicion was unfounded.